How to write a CV

So, you’re no longer feeling fulfilled in your current role and decide it’s time to seek a better opportunity. With access to a wide variety of job boards available at your fingertips, it is now easier than ever to submit your CV online and wait for the opportunities to come to you! Online job boards are becoming more and more popular with millions of people registered on them. As a little fish in a large candidate pool, how do you ensure your CV doesn’t fall under the radar?

Most Clients and Recruiters will be looking for key skills and competencies showcased on your CV. The amount of information your CV displays and how it is structured can make a massive difference to the success of your application. Especially given how more Recruiters are relying on Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to help manage their applications. ATS software automatically sorts and filters applications based on the keywords and filters inputted by the recruiter. The layout of your CV can really impact the software’s ability to pick up important information from your CV.

Things your CV must include:

  • Correct contact details
    • Ensure your telephone number and email address are up to date so prospective Employers can contact you.
      There is nothing worse than missing out on an opportunity because you cannot be contacted!
  • A Personal Profile or ‘Career Profile’ An introductory paragraph at the beginning of your CV.
      A short summary of your background and career plans.
      Provides an explanation of who you are, your skills and your experience and should reflect the information you would give if you were presenting your CV in person.
      Needs to be concise – No more than 5 lines.
  • Simple and clear formatting.
    • No use of fancy fonts, columns, text boxes etc.
  • Consistent formatting throughout.
    • Use bullet points to list duties/responsibilities for each role allowing you to be more specific/concise.
  • Keywords and skills tailored to each role.
    • You should tailor your CV for each role you apply for.
      Ensure that your CV highlights the specific experience/skills that you have and are required for that role.
      A covering paragraph to highlight all of your relevant experience and why you are interested in that particular role.
  • A brief explanation of gaps in employment.
    • Extremely important to Employers as they will want to know how you spent your time in between jobs.
      This includes specifying if a role was temporary, contract or permanent position.
  • Dates.
    • Including the month and year of employment and education.
  • Relevant experience.
    • Up to a maximum of 10 years of experience (if achieved from more than 1 company).
      You don’t want your CV to be on any more than 4 pages!
  • Good spelling and grammar.
    • Triple check your spelling and grammar – especially job titles and company names!
  • Simple easy-to-use format.
    • A Microsoft Word document is much easier for an Employer to open on their computer. Some PDF files don’t open properly and distort the format of your CV which could affect your application.

Things to not include on your CV:

  • Photos
    • They take up valuable space and can distract from the content of your CV. As well as this, ATS software is unable to read pictures, so if you use images or graphics to showcase your skills, they may not be read and your CV automatically rejected!
  • Personal details
    • You do not need to include information such as your date of birth, NI number, marital status, details of your children/family or any other private information. This could lead to discrimination.
  • References
    • There is no need to add the details of references or ‘references available on request’ as this does not add value and also takes up valuable space on your CV. If an Employer wishes to take up references then they will ask for the specific details in line with their own Reference Policy.

How to layout your CV…

We recommend the following format and headings as a minimum:

Contact Details

Personal Profile:
This is your brief paragraph highlighting relevant key skills and experience for the role!

Key skills/achievements:
A bullet point list relevant to the role! Pick our keywords/skills from the job advert that you possess!

Career History:
Reverse chronological order with most recent employment first!

Education & Qualifications:

Interests & Hobbies

By choosing Allstaff Recruitment to assist you with your job search we can help you explore all of the options available to you. We can even present you with some new ones. Our service is free to all candidates and includes feedback on your CV so why not get in touch with one of our specialist recruiters and submit your CV today!

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